August 17, 2018

President Signs Important Billfish Conservation Legislation

Recently, President Trump signed into law H.R. 4528, a bill introduced by Congressman Darren Soto (FL) that amends the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012.

The Billfish Conservation Act of 2012 banned the importation of billfish caught by foreign fishing vessels in the United Sates. However, angler-conservation groups had concerns with a loophole in the original bill that would allow Hawaiian-landed billfish to be sold on the United States mainland. If commercially caught billfish could be transported from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, it would circumvent the intent of the conservation measure by encouraging additional harvest around Hawaii and potentially creating a pathway for foreign caught billfish to still be sold on the U.S. market. This legislation fixes this technical loophole and ensures that the original intent of the act to reduce billfish mortality, both in U.S. waters and internationally, is successful.

“This angler and sportfishing industry-backed legislation is another big step to ensuring the sustainability of these iconic species now and for future generations,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Fisheries Program Director Chris Horton. “It is yet another example, in a long history of examples, of anglers stepping up to the plate for fisheries conservation.”  

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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